Steve Challouma, who took over from Steve Chantry last month, said the return of Captain Birdseye in last year’s ad campaign for fish fingers had boosted sales.
According to Nielsen, sales of Birds Eye fish fingers rose 12.2% year on year to £21.7m in the 12 weeks to 25 February. The brand’s sales had been in freefall before that, with a decline of roughly 5% for each of the last three years.
Birds Eye hopes to continue growth with a new £7m campaign for its chicken range by Grey London.
While Captain Birdseye had proved an "effective vehicle to increase salience" of fish fingers, the brand faced a different challenge with chicken due to "misplaced doubt" about the quality of ingredients.
Challouma said: "Only two-thirds of households buy frozen chicken, and less than 40% buy Birds Eye. Consumers also have some doubts as to the quality of the ingredients that go in. So, first and foremost, we’re trying to build awareness and confidence."
He said the format and humour in the ad, which spoofs a breaking-news report, could be extended in future to advertise other products.